Criminal charges in Ohio can put your job and your reputation in jeopardy. If convicted, you could face heavy fines, a mandatory jail sentence, and a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life. To protect yourself, you need to formulate an immediate and strong criminal defense strategy. The following outlines six common types.
Criminal Charge Defenses
In Ohio, being accused of any type of crime could result in heavy penalties that impact you now and for years to come. You need professional legal guidance from someone you can trust to determine the best course of action in your case.
Under the Ohio Criminal Code, you will need to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. Not guilty by reason of insanity is a defense that is frequently used in movies and on television shows, but it applies only in limited cases. More common types of criminal defenses include:
Lack of Proof
At your first appearance in the Montgomery County Criminal Court, the circumstances surrounding your arrest, and the evidence against you will be reviewed. Early in the proceedings, your charges could be dropped or reduced due to a lack of evidence. Even if the case proceeds to court, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor and a lack of it will work in your favor.
Police or Prosecutor Errors
Police are required to follow certain procedures both in detaining and arresting suspects. Once in custody, there are additional rules in place designed to protect your rights. Mistakes and errors on the part of either law enforcement or prosecutors could result in your charges being dismissed.
Defense of Self or Others
This is another common term most people are familiar with from television crime dramas. Unlike an insanity defense, it applies in a broad range of situations and is a frequently used criminal defense. Based on the evidence, the court may consider you justified in taking certain actions to protect yourself, your property, and others against both real or imagined threats.
This involves being threatened or coerced into committing criminal acts. It is a common defense in gang-related matters and juvenile crimes.
Unlike some other defenses, this does not dispute the fact that a crime occurred. Instead, it asserts that witness testimony or other evidence in the case is wrong in identifying you as the suspect.
Lack of Criminal Intent
In cases where some type of harm was done either to people or property, a lack of criminal intent on your part could result in a reduction of charges.